Friday, January 13, 2006

Not Politics, but a major change in my life

January 12, 2006

Dear Friends

Our marriage is coming to an end. Like many couples who have reached this difficult decision, our reasons are personal and complex. However,we wish people to understand that we are jointly at peace with this decision. We have reached a point where the right decision at this time is to no longer be living together, and we leave with no wronged party. We do not deny that there were many, many hurt feelings over the last year or two as we struggled with the way forward but we have forgiven each other for any hurt caused.

We have valued the 17 and half years that we have been together and the 16 that we have been married. We do not regret having been married - we'll carry the memories of our married years into the rest of our lives. We want to celebrate the fact that we had many good years together as a couple. We have no desire for anyone to feel like something bad is happening. We want to look forward with hope to the next stages of our lives.

Neither one of us could be the person we are today but for the benefit of the marriage, but it's time now to follow other paths. We are grieving as well, especially since we wanted to be able to raise our children together in one home, and the separation marks the end of this and other fondly-held dreams.

We actively worked through trying to preserve our marriage for many months, including individual and couples' counselling. We explored what was possible and what was not, how to be true to each other but also true to ourselves. We dealt with negative emotions as well, including anger, resentment, despair, denial, and jealousy. None of them suit us well and none of them helped us find a path forward.

Our boys found out the night we made the decision, which was New Year's Eve. So far they are coping well with the transition, but little has actually changed in their lives as of yet. We are paying close attention to them and are making sure that their needs are looked after. We believe that two healthy, happy and cooperative parents that are good friends will serve them well in their lives.

The end of our marriage is not the end of our relationship and life path together. We are bound to together by blood till the end because of Daniel, Benjamin and Stephen. Our goal is to remain cooperative and positive parents for our three boys. The stronger a friendship we have, the better parents we can be for the boys.

Our relationship is in a transition from marriage to friendship. We start from a strong point as friends from the first, and want to build on that. We hope that each of you will will be able to carry on without worrying if we can be in the same room together, since we have so many joint friends, and would rather not lose a single one just because we are separated. January and February will see us working on the closure we both need to this marriage, and the initiation of our renewed friendship.

Catherine has decided she would like to be the one moving out and will be moving into her own home in the neighbourhood - we think this will be on March 1st. The boys will be half-time with Bernard and half-time with Catherine, in accordance with all of our wishes.

We plan on sorting out separation agreements between ourselves – we have no desire to be pulled into an adversarial situation, or to give lawyers money that rightly belongs to our children. Above all, we want to be fair to each other and to Daniel, Ben and Stevie. We very much appreciate you holding us in your thoughts and prayers, and are very grateful for your support.

Catherine and Bernard

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